What Does an Iguana Symbolize? Exploring the Meaning and Significance of This Fascinating Reptile

Iguanas might just be one of the most fascinating creatures to ever walk on this planet. From their scaly exteriors to their docile nature, it’s impossible not to be mesmerized by these fascinating animals. While many people think of iguanas as just another reptile, they hold a much deeper meaning that transcends beyond their physical attributes.

In many cultures, iguanas are revered for their patience, wisdom, and adaptability. They’re believed to possess innate abilities to navigate through challenges and obstacles, much like how they climb trees and bask in the sun. Iguanas also symbolize transformation, embodying the idea that we can always reinvent ourselves and evolve into something better. It’s this exceptional ability that makes iguanas a popular totem for those who want to embark on journeys of self-discovery and personal growth.

Despite their relatively laid-back demeanor, iguanas are thought to represent power and strength. They’re regarded as a symbol of resilience, reminding us not to give up when things get tough. Their ability to thrive in harsh environments – often without any assistance from others – echoes this sentiment. So whether you’re going through a difficult time or simply in need of some inspiration, you can look to the iguana as a beacon of hope and a reminder that you too have the strength and power within you to overcome any obstacle.

Symbolism of Iguanas in Different Cultures and Traditions

Iguanas have held great significance in various cultures and traditions around the world. Some consider iguanas as symbols of fertility, while others venerate them as symbols of strength, power, and wisdom. Here are some examples:

  • Aztec Culture: In Aztec mythology, the god Quetzalcoatl is often depicted with an iguana by his side. The iguana symbolized knowledge, wisdom, and protection, which were key qualities attributed to Quetzalcoatl himself.
  • Mayan Culture: Ancient Mayan civilization saw the iguana as a symbol of good fortune and prosperity. Iguanas were believed to bring abundance and fertility to crops. The Mayans also believed that iguanas had medicinal and healing properties, and that their blood could cure ailments.
  • Hopi Culture: The Hopi tribe of North America sees iguanas as a symbol of survival and adaptability. The Hopi people believe that iguanas possess unique skills of survival, and that they can teach humans how to be more resilient and adaptive to their surroundings.
  • Chinese Culture: In Chinese folklore, iguanas are believed to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The Chinese believe that iguanas bring good fortune and wealth to anyone who keeps them as pets or as part of their household.

The Significance of Iguanas in Mayan Mythology

The Mayan civilization was one of the most advanced civilizations of its time, with a rich culture and mythology. Among the many animals that played an important role in Mayan mythology, iguanas held a special place. Here, we will discuss the significance of iguanas in Mayan mythology and explore their symbolic meaning.

Iguanas as Messengers of the Underworld

In Mayan mythology, iguanas are considered to be messengers of the underworld. According to legend, the god of death, Xibalba, sent iguanas to the surface to communicate with the living. It was believed that iguanas could travel between the worlds of the living and the dead, and thus, they were seen as a bridge between the two realms.

The Importance of Iguanas in Mayan Rituals

  • Iguanas were commonly used in Mayan rituals and sacrifice ceremonies. As a symbol of the underworld, iguanas were sacrificed to appease the gods and ensure a good harvest.
  • Iguana bones were also used for divination and to predict the future.
  • Mayan warriors would don iguana skin during battle to gain strength and power from the gods.

The Symbolic Meaning of Iguanas in Mayan Culture

Iguanas held a powerful symbolic meaning in Mayan culture. Here are some of the most significant interpretations:

  • Death and Rebirth: As messengers of the underworld, iguanas were closely associated with death and rebirth. They were seen as a symbol of the cyclical nature of life and death.
  • Connection to the Spirit World: Iguanas were believed to have a special connection to the gods and the spirit world. Their ability to travel between the worlds made them an important symbol of divine communication.
  • Renewal and Regeneration: Iguanas shed their skin as they grow, which made them a symbol of renewal and regeneration. They were seen as a representation of growth, change, and transformation.

The Legacy of Iguanas in Mayan Culture

Today, iguanas continue to play a role in modern-day Mayan culture. In many parts of Mesoamerica, iguanas are still used in traditional medicine and folk remedies. They are also a popular subject in Mayan art and represent an important part of the cultural heritage of the Maya people.

Symbolic Meaning Significance
Death and Rebirth Represents the cyclical nature of life and death
Connection to the Spirit World Iguanas were believed to have a special connection to the gods and the spirit world
Renewal and Regeneration Symbolizes growth, change, and transformation

In conclusion, iguanas held a significant place in Mayan mythology and culture. As messengers of the underworld and symbols of death, rebirth, and regeneration, iguanas remain an important part of the cultural heritage of the Maya people.

Iguanas as Spirit Animals and Their Meanings in the Animal Totem

Many indigenous cultures believe that animals have spiritual significance and symbolism. The ancient Mayans and Aztecs, for example, considered animals as sacred and adopted them as spirit guides in their daily lives. In the modern world, people continue to turn to animals as symbols of strength and guidance. Iguanas are a popular choice as a spirit animal due to their unique characteristics and behavior.

  • Patience and Healing: The iguana’s slow and deliberate movement represents patience and the ability to heal. If you are feeling impatient or stressed, channeling the energy of an iguana can help you slow down and regain your balance.
  • Adaptability and Change: Iguanas have the ability to change color to blend in with their surroundings, representing their adaptability to change. As a spirit animal, iguanas can help you embrace change and adapt to new situations.
  • Renewal and Regeneration: Iguanas have the ability to regenerate their tails, representing their ability to renew and heal. If you are going through a tough time, invoking the energy of an iguana can help you renew and regenerate your spirit.

People who have iguanas as their spirit animals are said to possess similar traits. They are patient, adaptable, and have a strong ability to heal. They are also able to embrace change and overcome obstacles with ease. If you feel a strong connection to iguanas, you may want to consider adopting them as your spirit animal.

Below is a table that shows the different aspects of iguana symbolism and their meanings in the animal totem.

Aspect of Iguana Symbolism Meaning in the Animal Totem
Patience The ability to wait and persevere
Adaptability The ability to adjust to new situations
Renewal The ability to regenerate and heal

Overall, iguanas are powerful spirit animals that represent patience, adaptability, renewal, and regeneration. By invoking their energy and power, we can overcome obstacles, heal ourselves, and embrace change.

The iguana’s association with transformation and change in life

Many cultures and traditions around the world have attributed symbolic meaning to animals. One of these animals is the iguana. The iguana is known for many things, but one of its most popular symbolic meanings is the association with transformation and change in life. Here are some reasons why:

  • Regeneration: The iguana’s ability to detach and regrow its tail symbolizes regeneration. This ability to regrow body parts represents the power of transformation and how it can lead to bigger and better things. Coupled with its natural adaptability, the iguana teaches us that change is a necessary and vital part of growth.
  • Old myths and legends: In ancient Mayan culture, iguanas were revered as sacred animals. They believed that iguanas symbolized a new beginning and the importance of moving on from the past. Another old myth suggests that iguanas guarded the gates of life and death and could only be passed by those who were deemed worthy. This belief reaffirms the idea that the iguana represents change and transformation.
  • Camouflage: Another interesting feature of the iguana is its ability to change color and blend perfectly into its environment. In nature, this serves as a protective mechanism from predators. Symbolically, this ability to blend in represents a harmonious transition between two different states.

The iguana’s association with transformation and change can also be observed in a scientific sense. As humans, we undergo a process of transformation from birth to death. From learning to walk, to puberty, to adulthood, our lives are constantly changing. This idea of change is further reinforced by the growth of cells in our body. In fact, scientists have estimated that over 50 billion cells die and regenerate in our body each day. This process of change is a reminder that the only constant in life is change itself.

Symbolism Explanation
Transformation The iguana represents transformation and change in life.
Regeneration The iguana’s ability to regrow its tail symbolizes regeneration and showcases how important change can be in leading to bigger and better things.
Adaptability The iguana’s natural adaptability showcases the necessity and vitality of change in life.
Camouflage The iguana’s ability to blend in symbolizes a harmonious transition that is representative of change.

All in all, the iguana’s association with transformation and change serves as a powerful reminder that change is the only constant in life. By embracing change, we can learn to adapt, grow, and thrive in new and exciting ways.

The symbolism of iguanas in dreams and their interpretation

Dreams are often a reflection of the subconscious mind, representing our innermost feelings, thoughts, and desires. The presence of an iguana in a dream is believed to carry with it a symbolic meaning that can be interpreted in different ways. Here, we explore the symbolism of iguanas in dreams and their interpretation.

The symbolism of iguanas in dreams

  • Transformation: Iguanas are known for their ability to shed their skin as a means of growth and metamorphosis. In dreams, the presence of an iguana can symbolize a need for personal transformation and growth.
  • Adaptation: Iguanas are also adaptable creatures, capable of surviving in different environments. In dreams, an iguana can represent the need to adapt to changing circumstances or situations.
  • Agility: Iguanas are agile and swift in their movements, which can be interpreted as a need for quick thinking and acting in real-life situations.

Iguanas in dreams: Interpretation

Just like any other dream symbol, the interpretation of an iguana in a dream is subjective and can differ based on the individual’s personal experiences, emotions, and circumstances. Below are some common interpretations of iguanas in dreams.

Fear: The presence of an iguana in a dream can be an indicator of underlying fears and anxieties that the dreamer is grappling with. It could be a fear of change, a fear of the unknown, or even a fear of failure.

Growth: An iguana in a dream can symbolize the need for growth and personal transformation. It could be an indication that the dreamer needs to shed old habits or mindsets to embrace new opportunities and experiences.

Adaptability: The presence of an iguana in a dream can be a reminder of the dreamer’s ability to adapt and survive in changing circumstances or situations. The dreamer may be facing a challenging time, and this dream symbol is an indication of their ability to overcome obstacles.

The color of iguanas in dreams

Color Interpretation
Green Green is the most common color for iguanas, and it typically symbolizes growth, renewal, and rejuvenation. In dreams, a green iguana could indicate a need for personal growth and renewal.
Yellow A yellow iguana in a dream can represent the dreamer’s need for caution or careful consideration before making important decisions. It could also symbolize a new beginning or fresh start.
Black Black is often associated with negative connotations such as fear, death, or grief. In dreams, a black iguana could indicate that the dreamer is grappling with negative emotions, a difficult situation, or a need for change.

In conclusion, iguanas in dreams carry with them a symbolic meaning that can be interpreted in different ways depending on the dreamer’s personal circumstances and emotions. Understanding the symbolism behind an iguana in a dream can provide valuable insights into our innermost desires, fears, and aspirations.

The connection between the iguana and the sun in ancient ideologies

The iguana is a unique creature that has been featured in the beliefs and ideologies of various ancient civilizations. In many traditions, the iguana is symbolically associated with the sun.

  • In Mayan mythology, the iguana is viewed as a messenger of the sun god, representing light and knowledge. The Mayans believed that the iguana could travel between the earth and the sun, delivering important messages.
  • In Aztec mythology, the iguana is similarly associated with the sun, but also with fire and regeneration. The Aztecs saw the iguana as a symbol of rebirth and renewal, as the animal was capable of regenerating its own tail.
  • The iguana is also revered in some African cultures, where it is believed to possess solar energy and is seen as a spiritual protector of the community.

In all of these different cultural interpretations, the iguana symbolizes the power and energy of the sun. The sun is often seen as a source of life and illumination, and the iguana’s association with the sun reinforces these beliefs.

Moreover, many of these cultures recognized the iguana’s ability to adapt to its surroundings. This led to the belief that the iguana could adapt to different environments and situations, just as the sun’s power and energy can be harnessed and used in many different ways.

Culture Iguana Symbolism
Mayan Messenger of the sun god; light and knowledge
Aztec Sun, fire, regeneration, rebirth, and renewal
African Solar energy; spiritual protector of the community

The connection between the iguana and the sun in ancient ideologies underscores the importance of the sun as a source of power, light, and life. Moreover, the iguana’s adaptability and resilience provide a valuable reminder of the power of adaptation and change in the face of changing circumstances.

The iguana’s symbolism in literature and poetry

Iguanas have been used symbolically in literature and poetry throughout history, representing a variety of concepts and values.

The number 7

  • In the Bible, the iguana is mentioned seven times in Leviticus 11 as an unclean animal.
  • The number 7 is often seen as a mystical or magical number in literature and mythology, and as the iguana is mentioned seven times in Leviticus, it has been associated with spiritual enlightenment and the quest for knowledge.
  • In the Mayan culture, the iguana was associated with the number 7 and was considered a symbol of creation and the seven days of creation.


The iguana’s ability to undergo metamorphosis has been used as a powerful symbol in literature and poetry. From ancient times to the present day, poets and authors have used the iguana’s metamorphosis as an allegory for personal growth and transformation. Through shedding its skin and evolving, the iguana is a symbol of change and renewal.


The iguana’s regenerative abilities, such as the ability to regrow its tail, have also been used symbolically in literature and poetry. The iguana’s ability to heal and regenerate itself is often used as an allegory for healing and recovery from emotional or physical wounds.

The iguana in mythology

In various cultures around the world, the iguana has been used as a powerful symbol in mythology. In West African mythology, iguanas were believed to be the guardians of the gates of heaven; in Haitian Vodou, they are associated with the loa Loko, the god of vegetation and fertility; and in Aztec mythology, the iguana was associated with the god Xiuhtecuhtli, the god of fire and time.

Culture Iguana Symbolism
West African Guardians of the gates of heaven
Haitian Vodou Associated with the loa Loko, the god of vegetation and fertility
Aztec Associated with the god Xiuhtecuhtli, the god of fire and time

The iguana’s diverse symbolism in literature and poetry showcases the multifaceted nature of this powerful animal. Whether representing spiritual enlightenment, personal transformation, healing, or mythology, the iguana remains a timeless symbol that continues to inspire artists, writers, and thinkers around the world.

Iguana tattoos and their meanings in different designs

Getting a tattoo is a personal choice that varies from person to person, and there is no doubt iguana tattoos have grown in popularity. Not only for its unique appearance, but for the symbolism they hold. Iguana tattoos are a representation of strength, agility, and resilience. They are also a symbol of camaraderie, at times connected to the idea of a warrior who fights alongside his or her companions. It’s not uncommon to see iguana designs combined with tribal tattoos, especially in Polynesian cultures, and often portray the idea of a guardian or protector.

  • Number 8: In Chinese numerology, the number eight is associated with good fortune and prosperity. For this reason, many people choose to have iguanas that resemble the number eight in its design. These designs are said to bring wealth, luck, and fortune to the person who wears it.
  • Black and white: Black and white designs are classic and timeless, usually representing the balance between good and evil. Iguanas designed with black and white tones are a representation of neutrality and balance, particularly related to harmony and duality.
  • Tribal patterns: Tribal tattoos have a long history, and with them usually comes a sense of belonging and a connection to a community. Iguanas designed with tribal patterns represent social status, solidarity and sometimes religion. These tattoos often show the devotion of the wearer to their community and ancestors.

Iguana tattoos are intricate and versatile. They can be designed to fit individuals’ preferences, body parts, colors, and sizes. As with any tattoo, it’s essential to do ample research, choose an experienced and accredited tattoo artist, and be deliberate with design and placement.

Design Meaning
Iguanas with crowns This design symbolizes the imagination, authority, and magical power of the wearer.
Iguanas with flowers These tattoos are associated with the beauty, delicate nature, and femininity of the person who wears it.
Iguanas with swords Iguanas with swords tend to represent courage, bravery, strength, and wisdom.

Whether you decide to get an iguana tattoo because of its cultural significance, aesthetics, or personal reasons, carrying the design with pride and respect is essential.

The iguana’s representation in art and modern culture

Throughout different cultures, the iguana has taken on varied symbolic meanings. In some instances, it is perceived as a creature of strength, wisdom, and dexterity. Whereas in others, it is associated with laziness and dullness. In modern times, the iguana has been represented in a variety of ways in art and pop culture.

  • Animation and movies: The iguana has been featured in numerous animated movies such as Rango, The Wild, and Ice Age. It is often portrayed as a witty and cunning character with an adventurous spirit.
  • Tattoos and art: Iguanas are a popular subject for tattoo artists and painters. In general, iguanas are perceived as a symbol of strength and resilience, and they are often depicted in bold and vibrant colors to represent their natural habitat.
  • Jewelry and fashion: Iguanas are also used as an inspiration for jewelry and fashion designers. Jewelry featuring iguanas may have a naturalistic feel, while high-fashion designers use the iguana’s skin pattern to create stunning patterns for handbags and accessories.

The iguana also has a more sinister side in modern culture. There are numerous stories and movies depicting the iguana as a vicious and dangerous creature. In some instances, people keep iguanas as exotic pets, which have been known to cause injury to their owners.

The iguana also holds significance in numerology, where its number is 9. In numerology, 9 signifies a completion, as it is the last digit in the series. It is believed that the number 9 has strong spiritual qualities, and it represents the attainment of spiritual consciousness. In this context, the iguana can represent the culmination of a spiritual journey or the attainment of spiritual enlightenment.

Attributes of Numerology Number 9 Symbolism with Iguana
Completion, resolution, and readiness for new beginnings Symbolizes completion of a spiritual journey, and readiness to embark on a new one.
Spiritual integration and healing Represents spiritual integration and healing through the attainment of spiritual consciousness.
Wisdom and understanding Associated with the iguana symbolic meaning of strength, wisdom, and dexterity.

Overall, the iguana has a multifaceted personality and meaning in art and modern culture. Its representation depends on the context, culture, and individual perceptions.

Iguanas and their symbolic meanings in pop culture and media

With their distinctive appearance and intriguing behaviors, iguanas have not only become popular pets but also have held a significant symbolic meaning in pop culture and media throughout the years.

In different cultures, iguanas have been associated with various symbolic meanings, including power, rebirth, and healing. Here are ten subtopics that delve deeper into the symbolic significance of iguanas:

  • 1. Egyptian mythology
  • 2. Aztec mythology
  • 3. Mayan mythology
  • 4. Iguanas in literature
  • 5. Iguanas in music
  • 6. Iguanas in movies and TV shows
  • 7. Iguana tattoos and art
  • 8. Iguanas and spirituality
  • 9. Iguanas and healing
  • 10. Iguanas in pop culture

The tenth subtopic explores the most prominent ways iguanas have appeared in pop culture, from commercials to memes. Here are some examples of iguanas in pop culture:

From their ancient symbolic meanings to their modern appearances in pop culture, iguanas continue to captivate and fascinate people around the world.

FAQs About What Does an Iguana Symbolize

1. What do iguanas represent?
Iguanas are reptiles that are often associated with resilience, patience, and strength. They are also believed to symbolize transformation and healing.

2. In what cultures are iguanas considered sacred animals?
In many Native American cultures, iguanas are believed to be sacred animals that represent protection, healing and renewal. In Mexico, iguanas are considered to be a symbol of good luck and fortune.

3. Do iguanas symbolize anything negative?
While iguanas are usually seen as positive symbols, they can also represent aggression and danger due to their sharp teeth and claws.

4. What do the different colors of iguanas symbolize?
Green iguanas, which are the most common type, are believed to symbolize growth and healing. Albino iguanas, on the other hand, are seen as a symbol of purity and spirituality.

5. Can iguanas symbolize different things in different cultures?
Yes, the meaning of iguanas as symbols can vary depending on the culture. For example, in some Asian cultures, iguanas are seen as a symbol of greed and selfishness.

6. Are iguanas associated with any particular deity?
In some cultures, iguanas are believed to be associated with deities such as the Aztec goddess of childbirth and agriculture, Xochiquetzal.

7. Do iguanas have any spiritual significance in astrology?
In astrology, iguanas are believed to represent the element of earth and are associated with the zodiac signs of Taurus and Virgo.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned about the symbolism of iguanas, it’s clear that these fascinating creatures have a rich cultural and spiritual significance. Whether you see iguanas as a symbol of transformation and healing, or a sign of aggression and danger, there’s no denying that they are powerful and majestic creatures. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back for more informative articles about the natural world.

Appearance Description
Geico commercials The Geico insurance company used an animated iguana as its spokesperson in several commercials.
Rango movie The titular character in the 2011 animated movie Rango is a pet iguana with an adventurous spirit.
Jimmy Buffett’s “I Will Play For Gumbo” music video The music video for the song features Buffett sitting on a beach with an iguana on his lap.
Internet memes Iguanas have been featured in various internet memes, often involving their dramatic facial expressions.